Monday I had a busy day planned at the office, some project work that had me amped in the low key way I get excited about figuring out all the angles and engineering something nice. As I got younger child ready older daughter came and got me and towed me towards the door. She had tears on her face. Older daughter only cries under the gravest of circumstances. I got outside and Contraption Captain had our cat in his arms. Curi. Curi who had spent the night on our bed sprawled and warm and then had eaten breakfast and then had gone outside had been hit and killed by a car who knocked him dead or close to it and then continued on it's way.
This I have not been able to write about but by today the misery of not setting the words down is like the grief of losing this cat and so here I am telling this story.
We acquired this cat in May, he came with our house. His owner could not keep him at the retirement home she was moving into. We were cat-less, ours had died after a long battle with cancer. Curi looked like a Manx, he had no tail. He had no tail because he had been hit by a car as a younger cat and the tail had been amputated. Curi was an "easy" cat said his soon to be ex-owner. He spent all his time outside. He had no litter box. He was allowed inside in the morning to eat and then went back outside. We hoped for more because we love cats and slowly Curi allowed himself to make his way into our lives.
We got him a litter box and he sniffed at that, surprised. Afternoons and evenings experimented with stepping inside the house and looking around and then when the nights got cool he started to sleep on our bed. He diffidently used the kitty box a few times. He had a lot of personality. He drooled. If you scratched his ears it gave him this huge joy and his mouth would fall open and he would drool. We introduced him to treats, strips of cheddar cheese were a favorite. We had him de-wormed and de-flea'd and he tolerated it with patience and good humor.
Outdoor cats are at risk but keeping this cat indoor did not feel like an option. If you did not let him out he would go and sit in this quiet desperate way on the tiles by the washing machine where he could breathe the fresh air best. Outside he looked joyful always. Lying in the sun beneath a bush by our door. Sitting in the driveway waiting for us. He was five and outdoors was all he knew, I thought and hoped he could be safe. Hope is definitely not a strategy.
At Christmas he slept under the tree amidst the parcels.
I miss him with a deep and raw grief that taps into my feelings of not being able to keep myself safe on the roads or my kids safe or my husband safe. The day Curi died I stayed home from work and Contraption Captain dug a grave for him in our yard, by our apple tree. I wasn't able to bicycle to work. I was so defeated. I am so defeated.
A close family friend saw him in the road as she was driven to school that day and they did not stop so she would not be late. I hate the way people drive on by. More defeat.
Tuesday I got out my bicycle and pedaled into the office and tried to catch up on my missed work. Wednesday and Thursday and Friday I pedaled in. Some of the time I cry as I pedal because I feel so incredibly guilty. The bicycling makes me feel a little better but good feelings are subdued. He was a good cat. In the end I just want to write down to him that I'm sorry, that I apologize, that we all miss him terribly.
I'm still a bicyclist but I feel the defeat behind my ribs as I breathe.